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Update Archive for: 2012 || 2011 || 2010 || 2009 || 2008 || 2006 || 2005 || 2004 || 2003 || 2002
List of website updates. You can see the changes made to the site by date so you can view just what's new since you visited last.
December 18, 2005
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December 11, 2005
This week's update contains a few photos taken around Mount Shasta in Northern California.
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December 4, 2005
Although I shoot trains in California, quite a bit of Canadian equipment rolls through town. Here's a few photos of Canadian Pacific (and ex-CP), British Columbia Railway, and Canadian National equipment.
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November 27, 2005
Golden West Service (Part VIII) - Well we're up to part eight in the series of these blue cars
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November 20, 2005
On the first day of October, I made a day trip up to Donner with a fellow railfan Bill. We spent all day waiting for freight trains that never showed but we caught both Amtrak California Zephyrs along with a maintenance of way train tying down for the night in Truckee. Here are the photo from our trip.
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November 13, 2005
This week's update contains photos of Southern Pacific freight cars including high-side woodchip gondolas, double door box cars and a short-side gondola carrying coiled steel.
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November 6, 2005
I spent the morning around Roseville and found one of the mainlines on the west end in use as a parking lot. Since they only had one rail to use, they ran a fleet of 4 westbound trains within about an hour. Here are some shot of the power and some interesting freight cars on the parked trains.
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October 30, 2005
Golden West Service (Part VII) - This week's update contains photos of Golden West Service freight cars.
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October 23, 2005
This year has seen many Denver & Rio Grande Western (D&RGW) locomotives get patched and renumbered by Union Pacific. I've put together a few shots of locomotives DRGW 3110, DRGW 3096, UP 1346, UP 1356, UP 1365 and also a fully painted UP 1447 (former DRGW 3095). I've also included a few Grande box cars and gondolas.
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October 16, 2005
This week's update contains photos of Centerbeam cars. These cars are preferred over standard flatcars and builkhead flat cars because of their higher capacity. By adding the center reinforcement, the cars can be longer than a standard flat car (~50 feet) and the bulkhead (~60 feet). There are many shots of McCloud Railway, TTX and others such as Wisconsin Central, Union Pacific, Washington Central Railroad Co., and Domitar. I hope you enjoy this collection.
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October 9, 2005
Union Pacific's SD40-2 model was the most dominant locomotive on the roster just a few years ago. This has changed with the arrival of the SD70Ms so it is actually nice to catch these classic EMDs in action. I've posted a few photos including a former UP unit now owned by Larry's Truck and Electric and lease back to the UP (wearing a large black patch on the long hood). Also there is a shot of former high speed service SD40-2H #3250. Enjoy the photos! For fast viewing, use the 'Slideshow' link.
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October 5, 2005
National N Scale Convention 2005 in San Diego - Part 3
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October 2, 2005
I've built something brand new on ShastaRails this week...a Slideshow! You can now view any update or railfan trip in the slideshow format which is a much faster way of viewing. No more clicking back and forth, you can just click the Next button. Actually, you don't even have to do that, try hitting your Right arrow on your keyboard! I've optimized the image loading so you should see the next photo relatively quickly and you should get a full view of the photo since I've minimized the clutter from your browser. Enough with the talk, take a look through old updates or some of the railfan trips here:
Golden West Service (Part VI)
...and for this week's update, it contains photos of Golden West Service box cars. Some are still wearing their GVSR and VCY reporting marks but some have been relettered back to their original SP and SSW marks and numbers.
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September 25, 2005
I've been going through some photos and found that I have a few shots of Southern Pacific tunnel motors (SD40T-2 and SD45T-2) which have been repainted into Union Pacific colors. I prefer seeing these in SP gray and red but it's just nice seeing these locomotives still earning their keep.
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September 18, 2005
This week's photos are of Maintenance of Way equipment...mostly Southern Pacific, but also some other roads
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September 11, 2005
Union Pacific 3985 came to town last weekend and departed on Monday morning. Many railfans young and old were there to see the 1,076,000 lb Challenger steam engine head north to Dunsmuir. Many railfans chased the train which also included UP 1983 (Western Pacific heritage diesel), UP 3984 and a nice long passenger train. I had two of my nephews with me (Mike and Matthew) who handled the audio and video recording while I manned the still camera. I've added my photos along with a few audio clips from our trip. This is the first time I've posted audio so let me know how you like it!
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September 4, 2005
I just got back from a visit to Roseville where the Union Pacific excursion train is on display. The steam locomotive UP 3985 is tucked behind the fence along with the full passenger train but the Western Pacific heritage unit #1983 is holding down the east end of the track near the end of the fence. I was able to get some night shots of the WP unit so I thought I'd share them immediately. Enjoy.
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August 28, 2005
I just got back from a great day in Portola where my family and I enjoyed the 23rd annual Portola Railroad Days celebration. Since I'm short on time, I have put together a set of covered hopper photos which I have been meaning to post for a while. There's a little of everything including cylidricals, centerflows, and rib-sided hoppers. There's even a CEFX hopper which has been 'upgraded' with whitewalls! I was a little disappointed that the hydraulics, gold plated wheels and neon lights were absent after the aftermarket upgrade.
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August 21, 2005
Portola Railroad Days are next weekend so this week's update contains photos of some of the equipment in their collection along with some Western Pacific freight cars still plying the rails.
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August 19, 2005
National N Scale Convention 2005 in San Diego
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August 18, 2005
National N Scale Convention 2005 in San Diego - Part 2
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August 14, 2005
This week's update is a mix of a lot of different photos from across the USA. We start in Northern California with UP 2314 (triclops) leading a northbound on the upper wall of the Sacramento River Canyon after rounding Cantara Loop. Down at Cantara Loop we have a pair of SD90MACs (Canadian Pacific and a CEFX leaser). Next we go down to Roseville, CA with a pair of large Catepillars on flat cars. Also in Roseville is BNSF 5467 sitting under the moon and UP 7899 in the early morning sun. Going east a couple thousand miles for a BNSF switcher in Sioux Falls, SD which was originally built for the Great Northern in 1967 and wore number 208. Finally we have UP 4558 leading a southbound at Bealville in Southern California. I hope you like the variety of photos in this week's update.
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August 7, 2005
This week's update contains photos of one of my favorite shortlines, the Central Oregon and Pacific. When I travel to northern California, I usually stop by the town of Weed to see what's sitting on the wye. In mid July, I got up early to catch the CORP delivering cars to the Union Pacific at Black Butte. The clouds were not cooperative but it was still fun watching this job. Shortly after the CORP headed back down to Weed, Amtrak Coast Starlight came by only a couple hours late. I hope you enjoy the photos.
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July 31, 2005
Union Pacific played a major part in the Dunsmuir RR Days this year. Not only did they bring a couple of their executive passenger cars, they also brought an example of their latest in switching technology. This locomotive is a hybrid running on batteries and a relatively small diesel engine to recharge the batteries. RailPower Technology remanufactures an older locomotive replacing the 12 or 16 cylider unit with a 6 cylinder in this unit. RailPower was nice enough to send their technician to show it off. I spent a good 20 minutes talking with him and he gave me a full tour including all the inner workings. Take a look at UPY 2004 inside and out!
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July 27, 2005
I've added the rest of the photos I took at the 2005 Dunsmuir Railroad Days. I've included some night shots taken Friday evening of the SP and WP locomotives on the turntable. On Saturday morning it was cloudy but I couldn't resist a shot of a clean southbound SD70ACe making a crew change a few feet from another new locomotive from EMDs competitor, GE (#5505 C45ACCTE on display). After the show was over on Sunday, I shot the PRM crew moving the Dunsmuir snow equipment back to its usual place. At first when I saw them couple onto the spreader, I thought the Portola museum was getting some more equipment! Maybe next time...
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July 24, 2005
This week's update contains photos from the 2005 Dunsmuir Railroad Days. This year was much larger than it has been in the last dozen years or so. Union Pacific brought a pair of passenger cars, the Sunset and Stanford, led by a brand new GEVO. They also displayed UPY 2004 which is the first of their hybrid switching locomotives. The Portola RR Museum brought a train of their equipment including locomotives Western Pacific 2001 and Southern Pacific 2873. The PRM also had two cabooses (WP 484 and an SP baywindow 4107) along with a pair of SP passenger cars.
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July 9, 2005
Part III of the Trains Unlimited Tour photos which covers the arrival in Mt. Shasta and a few more on the climb to McCloud. For those who haven't followed this closely, they ran the train in two sections from the City of Mt. Shasta: First section was lead by WP 2001 and PPCX 6304 followed by 9 passenger cars. Second section had MR 37 as the sole power for the last 5 cars which included the beautiful Hiawatha Cedar Rapids skytop. MR 37 had a few problems but the resourcful crew found a workaround to get them up the hill.
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July 7, 2005
Trains Unlimited Tours NRHS Special part II covering the chase from Pleasant Grove to Cantara Loop.
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July 2, 2005
This week's update is recipe for a great railfannning day. I tested this recipe on July 2, 2005 for the Trains Unlimited Tours special heading to the NRHS Convention in Portland, Oregon. As cooks know, the best way to create a spectacular dish would be to use the finest ingredients. Some of these ingredients are rare or are hard to obtain so today's railfan recipe had the potential to be something great. Let's start with the ingredients and get right into the step by step chase:
  • 1 special passenger train lead by PPCX 6304 in SP Black Widow paint
  • 15 passenger cars
  • Running Northern California trackage on the bay and the mountains
  • 22 hours from door to door
  • and enough gas and caffeine to cover 700 miles driving
Thanks to Espeedude Ryan Martin for leading the chase from the bay area and with all the info during the day. Now let's get right into Part 1 of this exciting train chase...
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June 26, 2005
This week's update contains some slide scans taken a few years ago in and around Dunsmuir, CA.
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June 19, 2005
This week's update contains various Union Pacific locomotives from clean 4400 horsepower GEs to well-worn yard power like #714. Also included are a few former SP tunnel motors now wearing all yellow.
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June 12, 2005
Golden West Service (Part V) - Been busy this week so I have an very straightforward update...more Golden West Service freight cars.
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June 5, 2005
This week's update contains a variety of subjects including a toasted American flag, an clean Southern Pacific AC, the UP track inspection car, and some other evening shots taken outside the city limits.
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May 29, 2005
After seeing some photos of former Southern Pacific #4409 being painted, I decided to stop by to see how things were progressing. This unit, along with many other relics, are located at the Chemurgic plant just west of Turlock, CA. SP 4409 is looking shiney and new except for the missing lettering. Also present were a pair of GE 44 tonners, Turlock and Western #25 and #26 painted in silver and orange. There are many other pieces of equipment stored here including an SP Golden Pig Service trailer. After departing, I headed back to highway 99 into Turlock and ran across the Foster Farms facility with former SP 3378 shoving a long string of grain hoppers through the loading area. Enjoy the photos.
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May 22, 2005
Golden West Service (Part IV) - This week's update contains Golden West Service boxcars in various classes. You can see the rest of the Golden West Service colllection here:All Golden West Service photos
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May 15, 2005
Since we've had a lot of activity concerning the Portola Railroad Museum on the message boards, I decided to go through and post some of my shots taken over the past few years. For starters, we have some shots taken during a Rent-a-Locomotive session that my girlfriend at the time, and now wife, got me as a birthday gift. Since we were the last group of the day, our instructor Loren Ross let us ride along while he put away WP 512 for the night. Click on the link to see the other photos of the PRM's great collection!
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May 8, 2005
This week's update contains photos of some old and unique wood chip gons from Georgia Paicific, Union Pacific, Bombardier Capital, and Burlington Northern. I've also thrown in some Roseburg and First Union log spines to round out the life of lumber...from log to dust.
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May 1, 2005
This week's update contains a few different freight cars including a MKT transfer car, D&RGW rail flat car, a Chessie box car still wearing the cat logo, and a former McCloud 89' hospital flat now being used by UP leased by JDIX. Finally, a shot of the Midwest Railcar repair facility at night taken by one of my coworkers while he was working in Sioux Falls, SD (Thanks Jason!). Enjoy the photos...
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April 24, 2005
This week's update covers various Rio Grande, Southern Pacific and Chicago Northwestern locomotives wearing a variety of yellow patches. Sometimes there is a little creativity involved...an example of this can be seen on UP 1383 which looks very intimidating.
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April 17, 2005
I spend a fair amount of time on the west end of the Roseville yard and see quite a few of the remote controlled SD38-2s. I like the sound of a non-turbo'd 16 cylinder engine at full throttle. Being remotely controlled, I don't think the operator minds the loud chugs from wherever they are with their throttle pack. Here's a handful of shots of these hard working locomotives. The numbers are UPY 803, 841, 840, 853, 857, and 862.
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April 10, 2005
This week's update contains photos of Centerbeam flatcars used for carrying lumber. There are some shots of cars used by Oregon lumber companies along with a few from the McCloud Railway and many others.
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April 3, 2005
I was able to get a few hours of railfanning in while on a business trip to Minneapolis. Luckily it was a sunny day. My first destination was the Minnesota Commercial shops where an eclectic mix of power can be seen.
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March 27, 2005
It's not a difficult task to amass a group of shots of UP SD70Ms...there are the most populous model on the Union Pacific roster. Here's a few with and without flags, running mainline trains and even serving helper duty in Dunsmuir, CA.
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March 20, 2005
This update contains shots of various grain hoppers from shortlines to Canadian railroads to one of the brand new CMO (UP) hoppers.
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March 13, 2005
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March 6, 2005
This week's update contains photos of surviving Cotton Belt (SSW) freight cars. You'll notice a few of the blue Golden West Service cars wearing their original SSW reporting marks and numbers. Enjoy the photos.
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February 27, 2005
There have been many new TTX box cars built in the last couple years. Here are a few photos of FBOX and TBOX cars.
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February 20, 2005
I took a second trip to South Dakota and took the short drive up from Sioux Falls to Dell Rapids to shoot the D&I at their quarry operation. Here are a few shots of their very well-kept locomotives.
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February 13, 2005
Although none were printed this year, I thought I'd share some photos I shot for CTC Board's Day in North America 2004. I started early and headed down the hill from Mount Shasta City, CA and heard the detector go off just south of Cantara Loop. I flew down to Sawmill Curve, parked and walked around the curve to setup for a shot of the train coming out of the shadows of the Sacramento River canyon. UP 5761 rounded the curve and came to a stop because they couldn't determine if the signal was green. After talking to the dispatcher, they proceeded north. I walked up to the south switch at Mott and caught CEFX 2805 leading a loaded ballast train. UP 5775 followed closely behind with a mixed freight. I headed south and caught CEFX-lead train under Castle Crags in great sunlight. I noticed that the smoke from forest fires was creeping from the south and was turning the usual blue skies brown. The rest of the afternoon was a bit slow, but the smoke created some unusual light.
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February 6, 2005
Golden West Service (Part III) - I've added part III to the Golden West Service cars gallery. These cars have taken a real beating over the years and look much older than they are. Blue paint just doesn't hold up to the weather.
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January 30, 2005
Unit trains...there's just something about the symmetry. Enjoy the photos...
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January 23, 2005
Former SP equipment now wearing UP patches.
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January 16, 2005
Since this weekend should be the final steam excursion of #18 on the McCloud RR, I thought I would post some photos taken of the previous "last run" from October 17, 2004. It was a rainy day but many of the faithful attended. Vic Neves was nice enough to let me follow him to some locations along Hwy 89.
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January 9, 2005
This week's update includes lots of photos of various Southern Pacific box cars. Many variations for you modelers out there.
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January 2, 2005
Happy New Year! For the first update of the year, I figured that I'd put together some shots of lumber cars: Centerbeams, All-Doors and bulkhead flats. Even have a photo of an old flat with a mountain between the bulkheads!
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January 1, 2005
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